The numbers: U.S. consumer sentiment improved in late January to 64.9, according to the University of Michigan’s gauge of consumer attitudes.
This added 5.2 index points from 59.7 in December and was up from the initial January reading of 64.6.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast an unchanged reading of 64.6.
Key details: A gauge of consumer’s views of current conditions rose to a final reading of 68.4 in January from 59.4 in the prior month.
The indicator of expectations for the next six months rose to 62.7 from 59.9 in December.
Americans viewed that inflation was moderating in January. They expected the inflation rate in the next year to average about 3.9%, down from 4.4% in December. This is the lowest level since April 2021.
In the longer run, inflation expectations held steady at 2.9%.
Big picture: Consumer confidence rose for the second straight month on lower energy prices and better financial market conditions. Assessments of personal finances are improving, supported by higher income and easing price pressures.
But sentiment remains well below the pre-pandemic level of 101 hit in February 2020 and the more recent high of 88.3 hit in April 2021.
Market reaction: Stocks
opened higher on Friday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note
rose to 3.54%.